Running with Joy: My Daily Journey to the Marathon is Ryan Hall’s daily running log between January 9, 2010 and April 20, 2010 with his personal thoughts about his training for Boston Marathon. Since he is one of the fastest American marathon runners today, I wanted to learn from his training and hoped to get inspired. While there are some good advises/thoughts and I learned about Ryan as a person better, I did not finish the book inspired.
What I did not know was that Ryan is a very dedicated Christian and he is very outspoken about his faith in Christianity. This is apparent throughout the book and is repeated very frequently, which made it harder for me to read.
What I found interesting is that he went through very similar problems to what I go through during my training. As a professional elite runner, I thought he had everything figured out: From his running pace, everyday diet, conditioning, etc., but that is not the case. He went through some emotional ups and downs, good running days and bad running days, suffered from digestion problems, got sick, frustrated about the weather, etc. He is only a human after all!
One of the take-aways from this book is ‘Take your easy days seriously and allow your body to recover.’ I have read this somewhere before but have not practiced it for no reasons. Running too easy on hard days and too hard on easy days is not the way to go. I can use heart rate monitor to check whether I am running easy enough or hard enough.
In addition to above, Ryan offers good advices and his thoughts in many different aspects of training in sidebars throughout the book. These sidebars are useful and I would like to read them again.
Overall, this book is a bit too dry to read through. But if you are training for a marathon seriously or if you are interested in knowing exactly how elite runners train, it might be a good read.
Ryan holds the American record for the Half Marathon in 59:43 and he ran the fastest marathon race ever by an American in Boston 2011 (2:04:58), though Boston times do not count as American records, due to its point-to-point course and the large elevation drop per kilometer.